GM Getting Rid of One Third of White Collar Workers

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General Motors is giving the heave-ho to 18,000 of its 50,000 salaried white collar workers as it “transitions to self-driving vehicles and other new technologies.”

Getting rid of all those people will free up money to “invest” in automated cars and electric vehicles, which GM CEO Mary Barra sees as “the future.”

She wants to ” . . . transform the workforce to ensure we have the right skill sets for today and the future while also driving significant efficiency.”

GM has already sunk $1 billion into its Cruise automated/ride-sharing car division.
Rival Ford (F) similarly cut salaried staff globally, though it has also not given any details about the extent of job cuts it plans. It has said it expects to spend $11 billion over the next three to five years to reshape its business, but it has not given details as to the changes it plans.
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20 COMMENTS

  1. Middle managers are under attack. Upper management tolerates them for now, but secretly blames them for the front line employees not getting onboard with their stupid ideas and wants to replace them with an AI and a web form.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_Promoter is the latest management craze. If you get asked to take a survey after making a purchase, you’re dealing with a company that has implemented NPS. Every month we have an internal survey that asks the same 5 questions, answered with a 1-10 scale. DK if it is a feature of the the program or just the screwed up way my company has implemented it, but the survey is only about your direct supervisor, even though the questions are about the department and company in general. So now that we all know that (and we like our supervisor) we just give all answers a 9 or 10 even though there’s a lot of stupidity out there. Reminds me of the Soviet system: “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.” The sad thing is that supervisors who were otherwise pretty good were put on a development plan because of their low score.

  2. Honestly most huge corporations are top heavy with upper and middle management outside of the production facilities. I work for the largest paper corporation in the world and see that as the good times come good people get promoted and new positions created in the regional management. They are good people with skills but their new positions are really not needed. When bad times come they will be let go or demoted. I completely disagree with where this free $ is going to go though. Investing into future tech that is outside of the normal scope of business.

  3. This announcement comes as GM makes huge profits with its light truck based vehicles.

    Makes perfect sense to an out of touch non car emotion driven automotive know-nothing.

    Hurrah, hurrah, can’t wait to “save” all that money on fuel next trip to the cattle auction in my autonomous electric vehicle.

    And speaking of saving money, that upcoming 2,000 mile trip into the NW mountains should be a real challenge with the new electric semi livestock hauler getting all the mules and horses “support vehicles” to base camp.

    These idiots are totally out of touch with Americana.

    • Morning, Eight!

      I don’t get it, either – unless (and here we go) the object isn’t the result of “city boy” metrosexual misperception of the market but rather a purposeful effort to destroy the IC-engined car (and truck) in order to limit mobility and increase control and force people to buy into even more debt.

      Barra isn’t an imbecile and even if she were, the corporation would not allow this unless this if it didn’t serve an agenda.

  4. Well, I’m sure she was promoted over the heads of literally thousands of better qualified, more intelligent white males. How’s that femmunism working out for you GM?

    • Hi Ernie,

      Barra was in “human resources” previously. I can tell you and everyone else reading this from personally being involved and knowing the people how much the industry has changed – in terms of who runs Bartertown – since the ’90s. Back then, it was the horrid patriarchy. White men, almost all with heavy mechanical engineering backgrounds; most of them “car guys,” too. They were there because they were interested in and understood cars – with the business aspect being of more or less equal weight. But they spoke car. They would have looked at you funny – and did – if you asked them about “diversity” and openly rolled their eyes when some geek asked about saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety. I had drinks with them. I knew them. They are all gone. Barra and a cringing congeries of metrosexual yes men are the new runners of things.

      • It’s all about warm bodies. If you have a pulse and meet the checkbox criteria the investors are looking for (MBA for example), you too can be management material. No need to understand what the company makes, only what it does. Because the structure is what counts, not the product. The product is secondary or doesn’t even matter.

      • My son worked in HR at GM a few years ago; he eventually became the only male in that department and bailed shortly thereafter, having seen the handwriting on the wall. He told me it was worse than being back in high school, with the cliques and snark directed towards him. “Sexual harrasment” is definitely a two way street, something th PC crowd will never acknowledge.
        I’ll be happy to see GM go bankrupt in a few years.

      • They are all gone. Barra and a cringing congeries of metrosexual yes men are the new runners of things.
        ——————————-
        Nailed it.

      • Eric reading between the lines to me this is most assuredly a purge of white male engineers. All the useless HR drones. pointy haired managers, diversity officers, and much more will remain.

        • Hi Brent,

          It is exactly that. I have a good friend who was an upper GM executive. I get inside baseball from him regularly. The company has become a kind of PC version of the caricature of Wall Street back in the ’20s – when (we’re told) Jews need not apply. Only it’s no (straight) white males today.

          You can feel the list now.

          They are asserting that math (physics, engineering, etc.) is “patriarchal” and people’s (provided those people are not white male people) “stories” and “perspectives” qualify them for engineering school and jobs, etc.

          • Engineering is “patriarchal” because women with the knack for it are very rare. They exist, but are very rare. Even among men there is a huge portion of engineers that were good at school too, but it’s not as high. Maybe 50% but with women it’s more like 90%.

            As to non-whites here’s the HR lady at play again. HR people don’t know a good engineer from a good at school engineer. The HR people think engineers are fungible. Trouble is, engineers aren’t. It’s far too creative and intuitive of a profession.

            GE destroyed its talent base with rank-and-yank so did companies that copied it. (It was called “the war on talent” where I worked a long time ago). Anyway the result of this mentality and what grows from it is bankruptcy and or being purchased by a more sensible company or simply ending up in obscurity or a combination there of.

            Anyway I think the Dilbert TV show portrayed engineering correctly, it’s a genetic defect of sorts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx6HojLBsnw With that social ineptitude is the weakness the HR ladies strike at.

            • Back in 60 or 61 GE sacked the then OO, an old engineer who had been the driving force behind their quick rise to dominance in several fields.

              That was about the end of firing heads of companies about to retire just for the sake of screwing them out of retirement benefits.

              Engineers have always been underpaid and unappreciated. It’s the main reason I decided to be an independent trucker and not a harnessed, underpaid engineer.

              Lots of soulsearching diverted me from the path to work for Chaparral racing right down the road from me. Jim Hall was a god to me.

            • Love that clip. And what it really represents is the difference between people who do something for a living and people who do something that happens to earn them a living.

              The modern world was built by the latter. People who would work for free if it meant they could do what they know is the right way to do it (and they had their other needs met). They’re often exploited early on in their careers by the former (or the clock punchers, who have no goal other than survival) and therefore become fairly cynical in later years. Occasionally a few are given free reign to run things the way they want, with whomever they wish to work with. That’s the lightning in a bottle that we all want, but rarely see. I consider myself extremely lucky to have witnessed the result of these people.

        • Brent/Eric,

          They’re trying to force more women into STEM. But as you eluded to, they’re just not good at it (see Florida bridge debacle). It’s just not in their makeup. There’s just not many women that actually want to go into those fields let alone be competent in them. Biology matters but it’s taboo to discuss because feminism.

          I read an article yesterday where a group of Girl Scouts were touring a university’s STEM labs. But they didn’t call it STEM. They called it STEAM. They’re now throwing Art into the mix of STEM fields. I’m not denigrating Art. It is obviously a much needed part of a healthy society/culture (which America obviously is not anymore). But it does not belong in the STEM fields in my opinion. It’s its own separate thing.

          So why throw Art into the mix now? Because women have more aptitudes towards Art than they do any STEM fields. So lets just lump Art into the mix of STEM fields and magically more women will become engineers. Talk about making one’s teeth ache…..

      • Barra would do well to hire Google-like thumb suckers…with their little backpacks and propeller hats…to design her dream vehicle.

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